Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stuff and Things and Nancy Rambles

I'm officially more pregnant than ever!  On Monday, for the first time ever, I got to say that I was/am 29 weeks pregnant!  Wohoo!  So that's awesome.  But the blood pressure is still bouncing around, so I'm trying to take it easy, etc.  But it's a total mind warp.  Take today, for example.

I got up and immediately feel gross.  Nausea is back, generally felt icky.  I take my blood pressure, and the systolic (top number - at least I think that's the systolic) was 138.  (Remember, 140 on the top or 90 on the bottom sustained warrants a call to the doc, a visit for monitoring and possible admission/bed rest.)  I lie back down for a while, take it again, and it's 142.  So I call John and tell him that I'm taking a sick day rather than wrangle our precious and oh-so-cooperative nearly 4-year-old into clothes, into the car, into the office to work alongside me (as our super babysitter is out of town this week).  Becca and I spend the day playing some and watching a lot of movies.  Sorry for rotting her brain today.  My pressure comes down below 140 (hence no call to the doctor, whom we are seeing tomorrow anyway), but hangs out in the high 130's.  At last check, it was down all the way to 131/81 - much better apparently, though really not all that different...but I guess 9 points below the magic number is better than 2 points above.  And Becca's taking a nap at this point, so that probably helps.

So then my mind starts going...if you haven't already picked up on it, I've got issues with being "enough" - good enough, a hard enough worker, etc., so I tend to carry lots of guilt around because apparently being "enough" is the same as being "perfect" - which I'm obviously not.  So I start thinking, "Maybe I shouldn't have taken the day off.  Maybe I'm just being lazy.  I keep wanting the doctor to tell me to take it easy...maybe that's because I'm so slothful I just want to lie in bed and watch t.v. all day long.  Maybe this is all in my head.  See, my blood pressure is better.  So I should have gone to work, right?"

I wear myself out taking it easy.  I mean, first off, my logic is flawed.  You can't use the afternoon's good reading to say that I should have gone to work.  Sure, I might have just been running high because I wasn't feeling good (Zofran helped that), but what if - this is crazy! - taking it easy today actually did what we intended for it to do and helped lower my stress and blood pressure?  Perhaps I made the right choice and was seeing the positive consequences from it.  But, no, I must have made a mistake and everyone at work thinks I'm a slacker.  (The last bit of which, I can tell you when I'm in my right mind, is not the case.  They like this kid, too and want him to stay put.)

But I do want the doctor to keep telling me to take it easy.  Is that because I'm lazy?  Is it because of residual issues from my first pregnancy, when NOBODY told me that I should stop working my crazy, stressful and physically demanding schedule (which, we all now agree, I should have, hindsight being what it is and all)?  Is it because I want to check out of all responsibilities?  Well, probably a little bit of yes to all of that and definitely some yes to the second reason.  Yes, because of the guilt I carry about (unknowingly) screwing up Becca's pregnancy (or at least not doing all I could have to unscrew it up), I want to make sure I am doing EVERYTHING possible this time to keep the kiddo cooking.  So maybe I am overreacting, at least some.  But maybe I'm okay with that.  Whatever happens, I don't want to look back and regret anything.

And that's probably why I keep wanting the reassurance from the doctor that I *should* be taking it easy...because I don't want the choices we make in this pregnancy to come from a place of (somewhat false) guilt surrounding Becca's pregnancy.  Now, Dr. Sizemore seems to be happy to provide that reassurance - he agrees that taking it easy does seem to be helping, and there's certainly evidence that it can help...but I guess I still worry about whether I'm being selfish because we can't *prove* that I need to do it.  I mean, there's no control group on me.  We're seeing what happens when I do take it easy, but we can't see what would happen if I kept running at full tilt...'cause I'm not.  Know what I mean?  But I feel like our families and friends and the world is judging me for being lazy...as if the world doesn't have other things to worry about.

I think where all this emotional neediness comes from is a need to justify inaction or inactivity in our society.  I mean, in my circles, it's easy to justify some amount of "self-care," downtime, contemplation, etc...but not a command or an inclination or a neurotic hunch to really, do less.  I guess in particular because when I do less, other people have to do more.  Super Dad has been (predictably) awesome (though sometimes I think he thinks I'm crazy), we've got someone coming tomorrow to clean the house, I've got an awesome assistant at work, and my biggest work task at the moment is being handled by some stellar Vacation Bible School chairwomen.  Some of what I'm *not* doing didn't really need to be mine to do, anyway.

For example, the weekend that my doctor first told me to "take it easy and only do what you have to do at work," I was scheduled to attend the church softball games on Friday night (as a function of my being married to one of the players and enjoying such activities, not as part of my job description or anything), participate in CPR and First Aid training all day Saturday (a good thing for a children's minister to have but not ESSENTIAL to my function at work), go to a Sounds game (Nashville's minor league baseball team) with a group from church that night, and participate in/lead all my normal Sunday morning activities.  In talking to my doctor, I realized that all I really *needed* to do for work was my Sunday morning stuff.  Sure, I was *expected* at the other bits, but they could proceed just fine without me.  (And to that point, if I needed to *not* be at church Sunday morning, folks would have stepped in and made do just fine without me.)  So all I did was my Sunday morning routine.  Oh, and I attended the softball games after making sure some other (very special) spectators were willing to chase the #1 Cheerleader around while I sat.  

Anyhow, I don't know where I'm going with all of this.  I guess I'm just trying to process.  Out loud.  Get surprised.  So I guess I'll just leave it there.  That's the update.  Baby boy (who I think has a name!) is doing well, still, growing and moving and all.  I'm doing okay-ish, growing and trying not to move more than necessary for day to day functioning.  We go back to the doctor tomorrow and will do bloodwork again.  Hopefully we won't be back in the business of collecting 24 hours of pee.  Ew.


  1. Rest.

    Always, ALWAYS choose the rest.

    Try to think about it this way: if you were to go into labor tomorrow (please, God, no!), which would you regret more: going to work on a "borderline" day, or staying home to try to prevent an early delivery on a "borderline" day?

    Give that little boy every hour he can get in utero. And if that means you have to go on complete bed rest, do it! While there is no textbook on YOU, there's also some evidence that for "most people," less work/stress/mobility lowers blood pressure. Which is what you need to do.

    And it has worked.
    So keep doing it.

    Still praying for you and for that not-so-itty-bitty boy of yours!

  2. Erin is wise. Your pregnancy is not going to last until the end of time. Your family, friends, coworkers, and church family can get on without you going at full tilt for the next ten weeks. Keep Booger cooking and don't feel guilty (easier said than done, I know).